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Huduma Namba a delicious dish poorly served by the government

Wednesday May 22 2019

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Asked for his opinion on family planning in 1972, former President Mwai Kibaki, then the minister for Finance, said it was not the intention of the government to compel anyone to adopt it.

He said the government’s intention was to educate parents on the importance of family planning.

The government would ensure Kenyans were well-versed in child spacing, number of children and when they wanted to have them. That would ensure better parenting, feeding, education, clothing and general well-being of parents and children.

With this education and knowledge, the people would make their decision as to whether or not to adopt family planning.


Now, while Huduma Namba may be a good thing, it will continue to receive resistance largely due to the manner in which it has been conducted. Many Kenyans have little or no information on its importance.

The government should have invested in civic education and left Kenyans to make the decision as to whether or not to adopt Huduma Namba. A proper awareness campaign would work better than threats.

And if the number is really meant to ensure better service delivery by the government, it should have been carried out together with the 2019 census and voter registration (given that the end-game is a referendum).

Japhyn Nyachae, Nairobi

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Having read about identity theft in the article on the safety of phone data (DN, May 18), I am extremely worried about the safety of information being collected for Huduma Namba.

People are ready to register if only they can be assured of the safety of their data.

The fact that Kenya lacks tough regulations on the use of mobile data means individuals’ data is at risk.

Fraudsters would have a field day should they access people’s records. We’ve already had imposters masquerading as President Uhuru Kenyatta or Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to con people.

It’s only prudent that Kenyans and foreigners being listed be assured that their data will be stored safely.

Robert Musamali, Nairobi

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The Huduma Namba card has a chip; let it be Kenya’s main mode of money transfer.

M-Pesa is Kenyan, so is Huduma Namba. Going by the ‘Buy Kenya, build Kenya’ principle, let’s upgrade it by inventing a mobile phone app for money transfer and at a cheaper rate. Then, it will be even more beneficial to citizens and foreigners.

Justin N. Nkaranga, Mombasa.

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It was a pathetic sight: long queues at government buildings as residents rushed to register for Huduma Number last week.

The government should have conducted civic education before starting the exercise. Also, children should have been registered at school.

Lastly, our details should be kept safely by the government.

Samson Jorim Onyango, Paul Ologo and Janet Nzasa, Mombasa